Summer Holidays and Free Time

As the children break up for the summer holidays we have the blessing of our masjid and massajid all over the country busier than usual as they are with us today, accompanying their father or their mother in the masjid.

The topic of the reminder today is on Summer Holidays and the time spent during these six or so weeks. However, the message is more important than that of the Summer holidays and it is directed at the Youth that are here today.

I along with many other parents are struggling to plan for the summer holidays in order to keep our children amused, entertained and out of trouble. Our children have short attention spans, they are easily bored and they have so much free time to spend until September.

However, if we look at the Quran and the Teachings of Our Beloved Prophet SAWS for guidance, we are reminded firstly in the 7th ayat of Sura Al-Sharh which is translated to say:

Therefore, when you are free from your daily task, devote your time to the labor of worship

And the Hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which he said:

“Man’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his knowledge, what did he do with it, his wealth, how did he earn it and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out.”

Dear brothers and sisters, the next part is directly speaking to the Youth that are present here today.

You don’t have free time. This is a misconception and a lie that you are being taught. You are members of this beautiful Ummah, you are ambassadors and representatives of the Prophet SAWS and you are the future leaders of his Ummah. You don’t have free time. You have a responsibility placed on you as representatives of the truth to make society better, to do good and to do important things.

You aren’t like the rest of your generation who will idly spend time looking at memes or TikTok videos or playing COD until the early hours. This is not for you as you need to hold yourself to a higher standard.

And don’t hold yourself to a higher standard because the imam said so, or hold yourself to a higher standard because your parents said so. Hold yourself to the highest standard because your own soul is pleading you to do so.

As Muslims we are the practical example of La Illaha Illallah, we are the ones to be active. We are the ones to hold the higher standard in society.

My dear youth, let me tell you, you are the future inspiration for your generation. You are the inspirers, the advisors, the influencers and the role models.

You are the ones that will bring others who have strayed back to the right path. Any friends or colleagues you know that are drifting from the true path, it’s not your place to point fingers and judge. They need sincere advice and guidance.

That won’t come from me, it won’t come from other adults here today because we aren’t with them day in, day out. They are your friends and they are your flock even as a young person.

As the imam reminded us, Omar, may Allah SWT be pleased with him said:

I disklike to see one of you with free time, not doing anything towards this life or next’

And so, dear brothers and sisters, you see we don’t have free time because we are only too aware of the responsibility that accompanies the immense blessing we have as being part of the true path and religion.

And as youth, your role differs from adults. In many cases it is simply about perfecting your manners and perfecting your character. The way you treat others, young and old, the respect you show to those deserving of it and the manners in which you conduct yourself inside and outside the home is not only a perfect use of your time, but it is a perfect form of Dawah or Encouragement for non-Muslims to embrace Islam.

Dear brothers and sisters, we often hear stories of people who have come to Islam and their story involves observing the character of Muslims around them. So let us perfect ourselves so that when we are presented in front of Allah SWT, nobody can say our character discouraged others from knowing the truth of Islam.

And so, this reminder concludes with 3 practical tips we can take away to make the most of the next six weeks and reap the greatest value from the time we have.

  1. Plan your time. From the day to the next 6 weeks, make sure you have projects or activities planned for yourself. Whether it is studies, helping parents around the house, learning more on Islam or charity work, the point is to make sure you know every day how you are bringing value to your day. Parents, you must support your children to make sure that they have their days planned and that they are productive.
  2. Include time as a family. This is for everyone to adhere to. Make sure that the time away from school is spent together as a family. Not just a vacation for a week or so of it but dedicated time every day to do an activity and spend time as a family because the family unit comes before anything else and it deserves time and attention too.
  3. Minimise your screen time. It’s addictive to be on social media and games consoles, that is no doubt but science has proven that devices and their apps are designed to be addictive so don’t fall into the trap. Limit your devices to 1 hour a day for socialising electronically and use the remainder of your day for other things.

Dear brothers and sisters, our family is usually so busy throughout the year. This is the time to reset ourselves, reacquaint ourselves and strengthen the family bond. Don’t waste the time as the Prophet SAWS said to use the free time wisely before you get busy as part of the 5 before 5 hadith.

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